My Disclosure Policy Now Up!

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I took advice from Jodi over at Sewfearless to get a blog disclosure policy up on my blog. She was nice enough to send me the link to where I could generate a disclosure policy.

Why have a disclosure policy?

I mean, this is just a little blog. I’m not big in the blogosphere. A small but loving bunch of readers follows and it’s not like I’m reviewing stuff. But, in reality, I am suggesting things, from patterns to stuff for kids.

I have tried to put a disclaimer at the bottom of any post I thought needed one- especially the ones where I’m recommending a specific product because I don’t receive gifts to review anything. And I need you to know that.

It’s word of mouth and you deserve to know what I get out of this blog, be it money or accolade (hehe) or whatever.

So, check out my Disclosure Policy– you can also locate it from my home page.

I also urge you to get a disclosure policy on your own blog. Y’know, cos your readers (even if it’s just your mom), should know whether you’re getting paid to say what you say.


Finished Buttercup Bag

May 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

I made a Buttercup Bag for my mother in law for Mother’s Day. You can find a free tutorial here on Rae’s Made by Rae site (I love this woman!) and get inspiration from the Flickr pool for Buttercup Bags all over the world.

The directions are super clear and making just one bag doesn’t seem right. They are just so cute. What some savvy folks have also done is enlarge the pattern to make it more of a tote instead of a small handbag.

My bag actually sat around for a week, looking rather bare on the outside.

This is when I remembered how I work with sewing projects. I sometimes just need to stare at the project until inspiration comes to me.

I stared and thought about this bag, and the recipient, for a long while. Then, it dawned on me… A fabric flower!

I searched and searched for the look I was going after (I love the lush feel of these fabric flowers) and found a tutorial that I tried and modified until I got the look  I wanted.

And the final product:

More Made-by-Rae love: She offers more free tutorials for some cute things. Check them on the left column of her blog. She also sells patterns, so check those out, too.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to say any of the things I’ve said above. I have written them of my own volition. (I’m getting a more hard core disclaimer for my blog soon.)

Finished Dungarees

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s fun trying to take pictures of something I’ve made for my kids to wear.

I played with using snaps for the first time. The place where the snaps are has interfacing so that the fabric won’t collapse when the snaps are used. Next time, should I use a summer cotton like this one, I’d do better to interface the whole bib. It would be important to interface it with something that breathes.

I used the pattern for Dungarees from Sewn with Love by Fiona Bell.  I’m loving her patterns. In case you haven’t seen this pattern, it’s done up with a heavier weight fabric- a corduroy.

Some changes I made:

1. I omitted the crotch snaps cos my boy doesn’t wear diapers.

2. I applied snaps instead of buttons for the shoulder straps.

3. I have a serger so I could’ve serged the raw edges but since I’ve been doing flat felled seams lately, I did that without thinking.


I want to make the pintuck shirt and I’m just dying to learn how to make the handkerchief-sleeve dress. Vintage yummy.

Tip #12

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Piling up your laundry when it’s still warm from the dryer keeps collars and hems from curling. You can almost skip ironing when you do this. The heat from the dryer and the gentle pressure from the weight of the other clothes does a light ironing job and buys you time until you have to put your clothes away.

I actually got this idea from watching the kids’ great grandma (yeah, isn’t it cool! We live close to their great grandmother!!).

Enjoy your life while your clothes are getting that gentle press.

P.S. This trick works especially well with kid’s clothes.

Pattern Review: Best Worn Barefoot Apron

May 5, 2011 § 8 Comments

In my previous post, I declared a 3 point sewing to-do list comprised of the following:

  1. Finish dungarees
  2. Finish Buttercup Bag (outer details)
  3. Sew up LBD #2 and check fit

I finished the dungarees, though they ended up being too small for my boy; I found the perfect outer details for my first Buttercup Bag and only as of this week have I had the super sewing powers to plow through an uncomfortable portion of my LBD #2 fitting.

But today, I bring you another project that was actually on my mental to-do list but somehow didn’t make the list I told you about.

This post is all about an apron. Believe it or not, my first apron, actually.

I bought this fabric in Vermont before we moved and I loved it but didn’t have a project for it, until this apron. The pattern calls for a full yard and that’s exactly what I had. Purrrfect.

How did I land on this apron pattern? Well, I started asking around and Jodi from the Sewfearless blog suggested using her pattern. It’s simple but she adds wonderful details to it to give it a finished look. I believe it’s intended to be a beginner pattern- but there are aspects that will need some sewing know-how, or at least some patience.

Jodi has added beautiful details and sewing techniques to help me  make an apron I’m truly proud of. You can tell she really thought through all the steps and all the details. (This shows how much I fly by the seat of my pants when sewing.)

Speaking of steps. There are 50 steps! At first, I was overwhelmed by such a large number of steps but what I found when sewing up the apron I realized that Jodi was making sure she didn’t leave anyone behind. A lot of patterns, combine 3 of Jodi’s steps into one and don’t show as many photos, making this apron pattern a really great pattern for those of us visual learners. It’s also helpful to have all the steps spelled out.

The one step that wasn’t as clear for me visually was step 42, where you tuck the strap into the bodice before turning everything right sides out. Part of my confusion was the photo and part is because I’m easily confused by written instructions. You can imagine I never did well with word problems in math.

Others may find it very easy. Depends on you. Just read through the whole pattern first, before starting. The pictures following step 42 help you figure out what you’re supposed to do.

The only other thing I would tweak would be for a bigger pocket. Not huge but mine came out pretty tiny for my hands. But again, it might just be me. A friend of mine thought the burgundy pockets were the top of the pocket and figured that the pockets were made of the same forks and spoons fabric. I like that idea!

Onto the aesthetics of Jodi’s patterns. Jodi has created what I think is a one of a kind pattern look. Her patterns look like a comic book, which I like. Here’s her sample page from her blog, used here with permission.

The pattern download comes in a high quality and lower quality formats, for people like me who have computers so old they still use floppys.

I’ve been wearing it all week. Early in the week, I used it while helping my friend clean her apartment. At home, it’s the full coverage I need for cooking and cleaning- which I do all the time. Actually, no, but this apron makes getting the house clean that much more fun. All I need now are some cute rubber gloves.

I decided to cross the shoulder straps in the back, as seen in the photo below, since that’s more comfortable for me.

The strap is brown and my t-shirt is burgundy so it’s hard to see, but it works with the burgundy bodice.

So, if you’ve been wanting to make a smock apron, head on over to Sewfearless’s blog, follow her on twitter, download her free patterns, and bug her about writing up another pattern. She just made an awesome diaper bag from scratch- no pattern. Wouldn’t it be nice to see how she made that?

Thanks, Jodi!

On a related not, be careful when browsing the web for “free apron patterns”. Last week, when I was in search of an apron pattern, viruses kept trying to infect my computer. Another way to find free patterns is to use “tutorial” instead of “free”. Keep your computer safe.

T-shirts for Sewists

May 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

I browsed the interwebs last night after the kids were asleep for t-shirts that made some reference to sewing. I found a bunch of “Sewing Diva” t-shirts printed pretty poorly on junky t-shirts, and other wordy tees that I would just not want to wear at all. Not my taste.

Below you’ll find my picks. I think there’s more potential for geeky sewing tees that goes beyond screenprints of sewing machines and scissors but here’s what I liked. Let’s hope for some smart and talented folks to make high quality tees for sewers everywhere to blast to the world our intent to run with scissors and the like.

Another tee with a sewing machine on it.

A tee showing what a cake made by a seamstress would look like.

And just for fun, and so you can see some well thought out t-shirts that I love:

Let me know if you have any other geeky sewing t-shirts I should know about. In case you’re wondering, I hit up cafepress, zazzle, etsy and bigcartel. Enlighten me if I missed something really special.

Satur Day Wrap-Up

May 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s not like I’ve been doing a Saturday wrap-up or that I have a ton to say; just a couple of things I’d like to share, cos Care Bears share.

Okay, that Care Bear thing is probably due to the sun exposure I got today. It’s good. Let me get to it.

A good friend is moving to another town about an hour away. I’m bummed but it sounds like it’ll be better for their family, which is always good. My family went over to her apartment to help them load their truck. More specifically, I offered up my husband’s services to help load the moving truck while I played with all the kids.

We went to the field behind their place and ran around a bunch and then got to fly a kite. It was the perfect weather for flying a kite. My friend’s kite is this beautiful butterfly and when it’s in the air it really looks like a butterfly flapping its wings. It was quite magical.

Later in the day, my hubby insisted we go for a super long walk. It was a gorgeous day and perfect Spring weather. We ended up walking 7 miles on the trail. Half way along the 7 miles we did get ice cream from this little ice cream shop. It had the best ice cream I’ve ever had. It was creamy and there was no after taste.

The big bonus was the flavors. Josh had Guava (guayaba) and it tasted like real guava fruit, not like some artificial thing. The owner is from El Salvador so we talked a bit. The staff was all super nice and the Cafe Captiva I had was just what I needed. This coffee and ice cream smoothie reminded me of the ones I had in college with my friend M.

Good times and great finds.

Speaking of finds, I also stopped by the fabric store with my tired legs, to pick up some things I need to finish a couple of projects.

I got some tiny snaps and 1 1/4″ elastic for baby brother’s dungarees, as well as the snap kit; two more magnetic snaps, a pressing cloth, and some double faced tracing paper.

And I got all this stuff half off because of the notions sale. This store has got to get their notions at penny’s to be able to give this big a discount.

I might get some alone time this weekend so I can tackle my sewing to-do list:

  1. Finish dungarees
  2. Finish Buttercup Bag (outer details)
  3. Sew up LBD #2 and check fit

The 4 year-old and I are also working on a Buttercup Bag for her but we’re only tackling it when she feels like sewing so it might be a while before the bag is complete. She did pick out the fabric and buttons and help me cut the pattern pieces.

Here we go!

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